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There are a number of symptoms related to pregnancy that are common knowledge for most people, such as morning sickness, heartburn, fatigue, frequent urination, weight gain, food cravings, stretch marks, and back pain. But there are a number of normal pregnancy symptoms that are not usually associated with pregnancy.
1. Excessive Salivation
This symptom, while not especially inconvenient, is one that is rarely talked about. Its exact cause is unknown, there are two possible causes. One theory is that this may be caused by the increase in hormones, but no conclusive evidence has been found yet.
What is more likely is that it is a contributing factor with morning sickness, due to the fact that excessive salivation is usually correlated with severe morning sickness. It is believed that women who try to combat this nausea by trying to swallow less are most likely to experience this symptom.
2. Metallic Taste in the mouth
Starting very early on in pregnancy, many women will have a persistent taste of metal in their mouths called dysgeusia. This is one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms, and it can even occur before a positive pregnancy test. While this symptom is not usually a sign of a more serious health problem, it can be quite uncomfortable for the woman who experiences it.
Dysgeusia is caused by the rise in hormones, especially estrogen, but there are a number of ways to combat the sensation that you have been chewing on metal. Eating or drinking things with a lot of acid or vinegar, such as fruit juices or pickles will often help, as will brushing both your teeth and your tongue often. Luckily, this symptom will often go away by the second trimester when hormones begin to level out.
3. Strange Dreams
There are many factors for why someone has weird, unusual dreams, and pregnancy is one of them. Dreams during pregnancy are often vivid and frightening. Disturbing events filled with violent detail are common, even for expectant mothers who are generally non-violent and do not normally have these types of dreams.
The reason for this sudden insurgence of nightmarish dreams is generally thought to be the mother’s way of safely expressing any fears she may have about the upcoming birth and the raising of her child.
4. Gum swelling and bleeding
This pregnancy symptom is quite common, and is probably the most well-known item that has been described so far. What most people don’t realize is that while calcium intake is important for maintaining dental health during pregnancy, it is not the only reason why pregnant women often have dental problems.
This is actually caused by two things: the increase in hormones and the natural increase in bacteria in your mouth. This results in sensitive gums that get red, swollen, and even bleed. The best way to prevent these symptoms from developing into more serious periodontal disease is by maintaining a rigorous dental hygiene routine, and visiting the dentist at least once during pregnancy.
5. Chloasma: “mask of pregnancy”
Despite the fact that 50-75 percent of women will get chloasma, a hyper pigmentation of the skin, it is so rarely discussed that few people even know what it is unless it has happened to them. As yet another factor in the increase in hormones, chloasma is characterized by dark splotches of skin on the face, usually around the forehead, nose, and cheeks.
This condition is worsened by spending more time in the sun, so women who begin to develop this condition are highly encouraged to limit their time outdoors, and to apply sunscreen often. This condition usually goes away once the baby is born, but for a small percentage of women, they will keep their “mask.” If this happens, the only ways of treating this condition are to cover it up with makeup, or by bleaching the skin.
6. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
As pregnancy progresses, a numb or tingling sensation is often felt in the arms or legs. This is caused by the swelling of body tissues, which compresses the nerves. Sometimes this can get so bad that women will develop Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.
This condition is very uncomfortable and quite painful, and in the later stages of pregnancy it can make the difficult task of finding a comfortable position for sleeping even harder to achieve since the pain and tingling is often worse at night.
Avoiding repetitive hand movements, such as typing, filing, or piano playing has been shown to help to some degree, as does propping your hands up and shaking them out when the tingling gets especially bad. Acupuncture has also been shown to have some benefits, especially if these other methods do not help. Unfortunately, not much else can be done, except to wait until the baby is born and the swelling goes down.